Zoe Project Grants Offered for Young Adult Ministry

The Zoe Project is a grant initiative hosted by Princeton Seminary and funded by the Lilly Endowment. Kenda Dean is the principal on the grant, and the churches who are accepted into this project will be working closely with her over the next three years.

This is a project around young adult ministry. It will give churches tools and networks to build life-supporting relationships between young adults and the Christian congregations in their communities. In many ways, it is a project that will come alongside to help churches launch a young adult initiative. There will be a total of twelve congregations who will participate in the Zoe Project over the next three years.

What is a Zoe Award? 

A Zoe Award recognizes a congregation’s passionate commitment to young adults (ages 23-29) by naming the church as a participant in The Zoe Project, sponsored by Princeton Theological Seminary. Zoe Awards are given to 12 congregations within 100 miles of Princeton, selected for their commitment to young adults, their willingness to learn from, build relationships with, and develop innovative ministries with young adults that nurture their religious lives.

What does a Zoe Award involve?

A congregation that receives a Zoe Award…
 …commissions five Zoe Fellows to guide the congregation’s involvement in the Zoe Project, and guide the congregation’s own young adult initiative
…receives a $20,000 grant to launch its own young adult initiative
…takes part in a 3-year learning pilgrimage with 11 other Zoe congregations to help churches invest in innovative young adult ministries
…is provided with a coach to accompany the church throughout the entire project
…works with a camera crew to tell the story of the congregation’s journey with young adults
…earns a place in the Zoe Project’s Online Storytelling Festival, celebrating and sharing each congregation’s young adult initiative
…is extended an invitation to a Gala Premiere launching the Online Storytelling Festival offering stories of transformation from Zoe Project congregations

Here are the requirements for interested congregations:

  • Congregations should show evidence of a commitment to young adults, including enthusiasm for being part of the project,
  • commitment to the time and energy required by the project (including time required on the part of the pastor),
  • a willingness to learn from and give leadership to young adults, strong and innovative pastoral leadership,
  • perceived stability and depth of project leadership,
  • and evidence of sufficient infrastructure to support the project (viable system of financial management, sufficient financial stability, online communication structures in place, familiarity with other community organizations that support young adults, etc.

Applications are due by January 31st.